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Minnesota Unemployment Eligibility

In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, you need to meet the following requirements.

Non Monetary Eligibility

Unemployed through no fault of your own.

  • Be able and willing to begin suitable work without delay when offered.
  • Laid off or have been subject to working hours less than 32 hours a week.
  • Quit for “good cause” such as unsafe working conditions, not receiving payment for your work, to care for a terminally ill spouse or minor child etc.
  • You must also meet weekly eligibility requirements to receive benefits.

Monetary Eligibility

Have sufficient earnings in your base period –

Your benefits are based on the amount of earnings (gross wages) paid to you from all employers during a recent 52-week period of time called Base period. A base period consists of 4 calendar quarters. Gross wages are your earnings before any reductions. Commissions, bonuses, overtime, vacation pay, severance pay (depending on timing) and wages earned in other states are included. However, self-employment earnings are usually not included.

Please note that there is a non-paying week or waiting week during which you will not receive any benefit amount. This is usually the first week after you apply for benefits. During this period, all your documents will be verified before stating your eligibility status. It is wise to apply for benefits without any delay.

These happen to be the initial requirements. Once you qualify for unemployment benefits, weekly benefit requirements need to be fulfilled to receive benefit amount.

Eligibility Questions

The reason for the separation from your employment could make you ineligible to receive benefits even if you have enough wages in your base period to establish a benefit account. The state chooses to pay eligibility benefits to individuals who have lost job through no fault of their own but each case of unemployment is different and you may want to apply for unemployment to know if you qualify.

Can I avail Minnesota Unemployment benefits if I quit my job?

In Minnesota, applicants who quit their job are not eligible unless the quit falls into one of the following categories:

  • Your spouse’s job location changed.
  • Domestic abuse at work place.
  • Quit before a notified lay off
  • Unsuitable work / work environment
  • Quit within 30 days of employment as the work was unsuitable
  • Quit to enter full-time reemployment assistance training
  • Quit due to serious illness or to care for a terminally ill spouse or minor child etc.

Will I receive unemployment benefits if I were fired?

If you were discharged for employment misconduct, you are ineligible to receive unemployment benefit payments. Employment misconduct means any intentional or negligent conduct that –

  • Displays clearly a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has the right to reasonably expect of the employee or
  • Displays clearly a substantial lack of concern for the employment.

You might still be able to claim benefits if you were fired for the following reasons :

  • Absence because of illness or injury with proper notice to the employer
  • Inability to meet the employer’s performance standards
  • Ordinary errors or accidents, not due to carelessness or negligence
  • Inefficiency
  • Honest mistakes or omissions

Does unemployment due to labor disputes affect my eligibility for unemployment benefits?

Applicants who leave employment because they are participating in a strike or are a member of a striking union at the establishment where they were employed, are not eligible to receive benefit payment during the strike. Participation includes the failure or refusal to accept and perform available and customary work at the establishment where they were employed.

You can be possibly eligible under following circumstances –

  • Unemployed because of a strike caused by an employer’s willful failure to observe the terms of the safety and health section of a union contract.
  • Unemployed because of a lockout.
  • Laid off due to a strike against the employer (in this case, the applicant is ineligible through the end of the week in which the strike begins).

I am furloughed intermittently. Will I be eligible for a benefit account?

To reduce costs, some employers require workers to take time off without pay. Here, the applicant was willing to work but was laid off by the company as it was unable to bear the costs due to lack of work. Under such situations, you are almost eligible for unemployment benefits.

Tips for workers being furloughed:

  • You may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if you are temporarily or intermittently laid off or your hours are reduced below 32 hours per week.
  • Apply for UI benefits during the first week you are laid off or your hours are reduced below 32 hours per week. You cannot backdate the application. You could lose benefits if you wait to apply.
  • Every applicant for UI benefits must serve a non-payable week before they can receive any payments. Your nonpayable week is the first week you are eligible to receive a benefit payment. To be eligible, you must apply, request a benefit payment, and meet the requirements of unemployment insurance.
  • For intermittent (recurring) layoffs, it is probably best to continue to request benefit payments even when you are working your normal schedule. Report the hours you worked and the gross amount (before taxes or any other deductions) of your wages. Payments will be issued for the weeks you are laid off or hours are reduced and no payment will be made when you are working your normal schedule.

Once you are eligible for a benefit account, move on to the next step to know what the  requirements are which need to be fulfilled each week to receive your payments.

Need to know more about Minnesota Unemployment, check our Calculator.

Learn more about Minnesota unemployment eligibility.
Click here to apply for eligibility benefits.

  1. my memployer is based in minnesota but i work in Neb . am i elgible for Minn UE benifit since contrator is based in minn

    • Hi, Tony – in general, the U.S. Department of Labor requires that you file for UI benefits in the state you live in. However, your local Nebraska office of unemployment benefits can provide information if there needs to be an exception in your case.

  2. I was let go after less than 3 months because I “couldn’t complete my tasks” . The job is at a public school and there was 1 year probationary period where they could let me go. Can I receive unemployment benefits?

    • Hi, Lee – you’re welcome to check with someone at the Minnesota Unemployment Office, but generally speaking, unemployment benefits are designed for those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, generally as a result of a layoff or a reduction in force. If your employer stated your cause of termination as not being able to complete tasks, they are stating that they fired you with cause.

  3. I was “let go” a few days ago and my employer is offering me a month of severance.
    1. I’ve worked remote out of Minnesota for the last three weeks and the job is based in a different state.
    2. We now live in MN (as of that three weeks ago, hence why I was remote).
    3. My husband was relocated for a job in Minnesota but it is not clear as to why I was “let go.”
    4. I will get one more paycheck and a month of severance, I imagine this will be taxed under our new MN address.
    5. Our house in the other state is now sold so we are no longer residence there and we can now Homestead the new house in MN.

    Can I even collect unemployment if I’ve only been working in MN for essentially two months after the severance time is over and I get my last paycheck, end of May? I worked in the other state for a full year before the move but I’ve only been in MN for three weeks. I know I can’t collect in the other state as I am no longer living there but we also haven’t homesteaded our new house. Do I need to do that first?

    Should I do something else? Would trailing spouse apply as it is not clear as to the “let go” details?

    • Dear Kris,
      Most states, including MN, require you meet the requirements of earning a minimum amount of money during a “base period.” If you were in another state, the money is still included in your base period. I would apply in MN and they can direct you to apply in the state where you used to live if necessary.


  4. I work for the company my parents own and they report and pay unemployment for me as any other employee, however the web application specifically asks if the business owners are my parents, would I still qualify for unemployment if I am laid off because we don’t have any work lined up?

    • Charlie,

      I suggest you call the Unemployment Office for clarification. I am guessing it should be ok as long as unemployment taxes are remitted on your behalf.

  5. If I quit my job of 7+ years due to personal reasons, would I be able to sign up for MN Unemployment Job Training while receiving unemployment benefits in the meantime?

  6. I input my social and my name etc when applying for unemployment. it’s saying “invalid“
    Is it possible that I am now married and the names do not match in the system?

      • I was hired to “be available to run service calls 6 days a week from 6am to 10pm” as a non-exempt salaried employee. I do not initiate these service calls, they are assigned by the company. There is nothing in my offer letter that says anything else about hours. Business has been slow and they’ve now come up a 35hr/wk minimum that, if I’m short those hours, they will require me to do work outside my job description. But I’m still on the hook for the 96 hrs/wk on-call status. Can I quit claim unemployment?

  7. My daughter is a flight attendant. She has been told that her base is closing May 1, 2020 and that they are accepting voluntary Furloughs. She is based in Vegas but lives In MN . Would she be eligible for unemployment benefits if she takes the voluntary furlough? Does she maintain her senority position? Is there a guarantee that the company will bring her back before hiring new employees?

    Lots of questions pertaining to this Virus related business change.

    • Denise,

      Your state may have activated “Emergency Funding” considering the Coronavirus outbreak. Please ask your daughter to visit the website right away to learn more.

  8. I’ve worked at my current job as a landscaper/lawn care tech for the past 4 years. I only see steady employment from April to mid November. In the past I have found work in my previous field, but this year I don’t think I will be able to do that. The only work I would be needed for is heavy snow storms and those are usually not weekly events. Am I eligible for UI?

  9. Am I eligible for unemployment if I quit due to my employer requiring me to sign illegal documents? They are resident leases that go against Minnesota State Laws and I am a property manager required to sign these as directed by my employer. The employer has been notified these are illegal and they want me to sign them anyways.

    • Leah,

      As long as you can prove that it was “illegal” in case of a dispute, please go ahead and claim. Make sure to keep handy supporting documents.

  10. My employer is closing my office down and laying off all employees. We are getting a severance, however, we were just informed that it will take up to 30 to 60 days after our last day of employment to receive our severance. Are we eligible to receive unemployment during that grace period between the last day of employment to when we actually get our severance?

    • Dawn,

      Please wait until the severance payout ends. You can apply towards the end of it. If it’s a one-time payout, you can claim right away.

      • What do you mean by a one-time payout? If the severance amount is for 10 weeks but paid at the time of separation, do I need to wait until the end of the 10 weeks to apply?

        • Mike,

          If the severance for 10 weeks was paid as a lump sum amount, you can apply for UI benefits right away.

  11. I’ve worked for a warehouse for almost 3 years, was given specific responsibilities. And was expected to assist in other departments, however over the past 6 months many changes have happened. And I’ve been warned I was being “watched” which has affected my performance for the job dramatically. Within this last week, I was talked too twice, and written up for my “negligance” in a department that is not my job title, that I work in 2 days out of the week, for 4-5 hours at a time without complaint. I feel like I am under constant scrutiny and being held to a standard that a majority of my coworkers are not also being held too. Can I file for unemployment under the guise of a hostile work enviroment and will I be eligible for benefits?

    • Brian,

      Yes, you can be eligible to resign and claim under these circumstances. You should be ready to prove the ‘hostility’ in case of a dispute. Please make sure to have supporting documents handy.

  12. I did work at a daycare center. Every day when I go into work is very stressful. I have been having anxiety and panic attacks because of all the stress at work. I have co-workers that gossip about and are mean to me. They are very rude to me. I have a co-worker that keeps trying to get me in trouble with my boss. My boss is not very supportive. When I went to talk to my boss about this particular co-worker she did nothing about it. I dread going to work every day. Can I qualify for unemployment for my anxiety and panic attacks I have a lot? I have to call into work because of anxiety and panic attacks. My anxiety and panic attacks prevent me from performing my job. I can’t take all the stress anymore. I am afraid that I am going to lose my job because of this. Please help me!

    • Dayna,

      If you’re able to prove “hostility” at the workplace in case of a dispute, you can qualify to claim UI benefits until you find employment. Please contact the Unemployment Office for more.

  13. Due to health reasons, I have been taking short term disability from my job. They will be ending and I cannot return to work due to continued health issues. Can I collect UI after my short term disability ends

    • Sue,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  14. I have missed several days of work due to severe headaches. I have called in to my employer every day and been to the doctor. I am terrified that I won’t face a job when I go back. I have only been there six months. There was not an attendance issue before this or with the job that I held for 13 years prior.

    • Christine,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  15. I had to quit my job because my husband got a new job with better pay and benefits job 150 miles away and am unable to commute. Can I receive unemployment under the trailing spouse provision in Minnesota for a spouse that got a new job? We do have 2 young children?

    • Kris,

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  16. Hi,

    I am about to start a job as a w2 sales rep. The season ends in October and I will be out of work for 4-5 months. I will be a straight commission employee. When I get laid off for the year, will I be able to
    Collect unemployment?

    • Wade,

      Contract workers are generally not eligible since employers’ don’t remit Unemployment Taxes. Please check with your employer.

      • If one accepts a package from a Voluntary Separation Program and receives a lump sum payment is that person eligible for Unemployment?

        • Karen,

          Please note UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Not sure how your agreement with the employer will affect. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  17. I am currently taking care of my husband who recently sustained a traumatic brain injury in October. He needs 24 hour care 7 days a week. Does this count as taking care of a terminal spouse? If I were to quit my job would I get unemployment or if I went to part time would I be able to collect partial unemployment?

    • Tammi,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who’re out of work due to involuntary reasons. Please check further with the Unemployment Office by calling them.

  18. I was working full-time along side of being a full-time student. I had to quit my full-time position, because my schooling required me to take a full-time unpaid internship. Would I be eligible for unemployment?

  19. I am working even though I took early retirement benefits from Social Security at age 62. If I lose my job, will I still be able to collect unemployment benefits? I am currently 66 years old.

    • Lee,

      I am guessing you should be able to collect UI benefits if you continue seeking employment. Please contact the Unemployment Office.

  20. My company is undergoing a major acquisition. This acquisition will probably affect my current workload. If I leave because of this, am I elegible for unemployment until I can find a new job ?

    • John,

      If you leave, it will be considered voluntary separation, making you ineligible. Please contact the Unemployment Office to inquire if this is an acceptable reason for you to resign.

  21. I have worked at the same company going on 8 years. I encountered an emergency situation with my housing and I had to withdraw my 401k money. When I went to the company to tell them this they decided that they were going to punish me by taking away my 8 years of seniority & My Christmas bonus which goes up every year. And my vacation pay. Can I quit my job and receive unemployment?

    • Missy,

      You can be eligible to claim after quitting from work due to hostile working conditions. However, if your employer raises a dispute, you should be able to prove your stance. Make sure to speak to the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

  22. After working at the same job for 8 years I encountered an emergency situation with my housing so I needed to withdraw my 401k. To punish me the company took away my 8 years of seniority my Christmas bonus and my vacation pay. If I quit my job would I qualify for unemployment?

    • Missy,

      UI benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office to inquire further.

  23. I was displaced from my job over 1 year ago. I have been working in a temporary assignment with them which will cease the end of this month-August 2017. When originally displaced I signed a severance package, and am now being told that in order to receive benefits under that package rather than an amended one I needed to submit a claim which would then need to be reviewed and approved by the OCC, and am not sure of how long that could take. I would like to draw my benefits under the original severance plan but need to know if I am eligible to receive unemployment benefits before my severance plan starts paying. I had been the company for over 14 yrs at the time of displacement.

    • Lisa,

      I suggest that you contact the Unemployment Office for further advice in this regard since you would like to apply on the basis of the previous employment.

  24. I am finishing up a year long contract with a company; just to be clear.
    I am not eligible to collect unemployment while I look for another job?

    • If you were working a contract job no a W-2 basis, you CAN collect unemployment in MN! Contact the MN Unemployment office directly for help. If you didn’t work a full year, you may get more benefits by waiting a few weeks or up to a month before you apply, due to the weird way they calculate the benefit amount.

    • If your last job was on Contract, you may not be eligible.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

  25. I worked only for 5 months, made over 1,000, last year but was unjustly terminated 2/19/17. Do I have enough time in to apply for U.I.?

  26. I am a real estate agent in MN. Fired due to “judgement issues” or being 80 years old which is more likely. Am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Were you on contract or on the payroll? Your eligibility depends on multiple factors.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

  27. I worked full=time for a company for 20 yrs- then was fired. found a job in different field- worked 3 months then laid off. can I qualify?

  28. I am currently at a job where I have been accused of adding time to my time card, having a no call no show (I wasn’t on the schedule which I have a picture of as proof), and have been written up for stealing without any proof (I know he has no proof because I didn’t do it). He refuses to fire me because he doesn’t want to have to pay unemployment, would I be able to collect unemployment if I quit for these reasons.

    • Well, the burden of proof is on you. If you quit due to hostile working conditions, the employer may raise a dispute during claims processing.

      During that time, you will be required to offer supporting documents. If you’re confident, please get ready.

  29. As the job became something I could no longer perform to meet their performance requirements due to the Co taking staff from me for budget cuts, I mentally and physically could not longer stay at the job. I decided I had to leave or deal with medical issues on my part.

    Although I am actively looking for work – do I have the option to apply for UI until I can find a job for my skill set and pay level?

    • Well, UI benefits are only extended to those who lose their job involuntarily. However, there are exceptions.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  30. I will soon be ending a 5-month contract employment assignment, and it may take a while to find another one. I was unemployed during the year preceding this. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits when this contract ends?

    • Contracted employees are generally not eligible to receive Unemployment Compensation.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

    • Well, UI benefits are only extended to those who’re able and available to work.

      You will not be eligible.

  31. I was at my employer for 38 years when I was laid off. I got a lump sum severance payment. Will that affect my unemployment?

  32. The business I work for has a new owwner and now after 6 months working for the new owner they want me to sign a non compete agreement, plus are cutting my salary and also some benefits. If I quit this job would I be elgible for unemployment benefits? also .. What if they fire me for not signing the non compete? Would I then be elgible for unemployment benefits?

    • In both the cases, its quite a fragile situation. UI benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for precise information.

  33. If I quit my job because of physical threats from another employee will I still be eligible for unemployment benefits?

  34. My wages at my present job are being cut from $19.70 per hour to $15.00 per hour. If I quit this job so I have time to look for a different job would I qualify for unemployment? I was told a year ago that I was going to be laid off, that didn’t happen, but a year later my wages are being reduced.

    • If you quit by yourself, you will not be eligible to draw Unemployment Benefits.

      If there is a reduction in the standard hours worked, you can claim.

  35. My employer in MN fired me then fabricated an email to DEED stating that I had voluntarily resigned. I never sent that email nor did I resign. I came in one day and they told me it was my last. Because of their fraudulent email, I am unable to get unemployment. I don’t have money to sue them but I would like to at least file a complaint against my former employer since they are doing something illegal. Who or what department would I send a complaint to?

    • Please file an appeal with the adjudicator.

      The details will be available on the official website of the labor department in your state.

  36. I was recently laid of from my employer in South Dakota after 6 years with them. My last job for them was in Minnesota. I paid Minnesota taxes for my hours on that job as well. I am just wondering if I would be eligible to claim Unemployment from Minnesota or not? Thanks!

  37. I am an airline pilot and my employer has informed me that I am being involuntarily displaced from Minneapolis to New York, NY. Must I accept the transfer or can I decline/resign and collect unemployment until finding new employment?

    • Any voluntary reasons for separation from the job may not be accepted when you apply for UI benefits in your state.

  38. My employer has plenty of work for me, but we haven’t been able to work 2-3 days every week due to the cold weather. Would I qualify for partial unemployment benefits?

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